Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 2nd: A God Beyond Time

Psalm 2

1 Why do the nations conspire[a]

and the peoples plot in vain?

2 The kings of the earth rise up

and the rulers band together

against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,

3 “Let us break their chains

and throw off their shackles.”

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;

the Lord scoffs at them.

5 He rebukes them in his anger

and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

6 “I have installed my king

on Zion, my holy mountain. ”

7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;

today I have become your father.

8 Ask me,

and I will make the nations your inheritance,

the ends of the earth your possession.

9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];

you will dash them to pieces like pottery. ”

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;

be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear

and celebrate his rule with trembling.

12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry

and your way will lead to your destruction,

for his wrath can flare up in a moment.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

I never turn on the news. For good reason, I can't handle all the bad news. I feel like I take it with me, after the TV is off, and it just sits in my heart and starts festering all this worry. The other day it was the one year memorial to when Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden, and of course that was the one day that I happened to turn on the news and hear how now there are threats of new terrorist attacks and bombs in intestines. I spent the rest of the day trying not to think about it, and praying that whoever was flying today was safe. And naturally, I dreamt about it when I went to sleep that night and woke up in a fright. I love this Psalm because it shows me that God hears the ragings, the threats, the conflicts of the nations, and it doesn't cause Him alarm. He's not pulling His hair, trying to decide who to protect and who to forget. This Psalm says He laughs at them, and the final verse is that blessed are all who take refuge in Him.

I wonder if sometimes God isn't laughing at me either. Especially when lesser worries start strangling my mind and threatening to errupt all over. Fear of aging, recently, has really been getting me. I wonder if God chuckles at me, kind of like I have to laugh at Eden when she gets herself wrapped up in my earphone wires, and she's standing there screaming and so distressed. She doesn't realize that a couple of spins means she's free, and so she can't see the humor. Maybe God has a similar reaction when I fear things like age, which can only mean that I'm getting closer to going Home.

I have a terrible memory. Most of my life is fuzzy, with a few pictures here and there of pleasant times and places and people, but for the most part, I feel like I've lost half of my life and its wandering around somewhere in my brain waiting to be recovered. I have to call some of my friends to remember what I did in junior high, high school, and I am starting to realize college is slowly fading too. (With that said, I have been researching how to jumpstart your memory on the internet lately and may or may not be looking at a few books at the library later on the subject.) The point is, the few memories that do stand out are usually pretty monumental--- the day i single-handedly killed my sister's favorite pet birds, for example, is one I am not sure I will ever get rid of. But lately watching Eden has been jogging my memory, and bringing back pieces of my past that I'd thought were long gone.

Since about 13 months, Eden has started to mimick almost everything I do. I know I posted a picture of it on facebook the other day, but she's unalterably obsessed with lipstick. I didn't know she'd ever seen me put it on until I caught her one day with the tube, puckering up and smearing it all over herself. Chad and I recently had a big scare where we thought she'd eaten some terrible product, only to realize she had mistaken my concealer tube for the lipstick, and her mouth, chin, cheeks, were painted white. Moms who don't wear much makeup, and are naturally beautiful, probably don't deal with this. I have to go searching for my brush every stinking day because one of her new favorite tricks is hairstyling, and nearly every time I get ready I find her sitting near my drawers, wearing every single one of my clean underwear as a stack of necklaces. She walks around wearing every bag she can find on her shoulder as a purse, and naturally, she loves to pull out my leapord flats and attempt to strut her stuff in front of our tv. Which normally is featuring Sesame Street.

At first I thought it was so amazing that she picked up on so many of my habits, and that she instinctively was copying me instead of Chad. Then I progressed from feeling like it was funny to feeling slightly intimidated by it, realizing that if she watches me so closely, I'm going to have be more careful to live in a way that is worth her mirroring. And finally, I've reached a point of wishing I could sit down with her and tell her to not spend her childhood wishing she could be older. Now, I get that its totally normal and healthy and so good for her to show all of these signs of recognizing me and life and the fact that she wants to be a big girl already, and wants to do what Mommy does. But somewhere in my heart is this realization that I spent most of my life trying to get to the next phase.

Maybe it's because I had an older sister who was doing the "next" thing all the time that I wanted to be where she was. I always knew what the road ahead looked like, roughly, at least. I can remember being so sad when it was week days because it meant Lindsay was in school, and I'd be sitting on our steps waiting for her to get home from elementary so I wouldn't be lonely anymore. And watching her play sports in junior high and wishing I were old enough to be on a sports team, and watching her go to prom and be part of FCA in high school and wishing I could be part of that when I was in junior high, and then when I was finally in high school visiting her at Baylor and realizing high school had nothing on college. And then when I was in college she was married and I realized how great it seemed to have the huge question of life resolved, "who will I love?" Somehow, in a strange twist, I ended up have a baby first. But that's about the only thing I've ever done before she's done it.

The point is, I wish I could go back and tell myself to just calm down. Just enjoy being too little to go to school. Enjoy the chalk and the barbies and the glasses of whole milk--cuz the good Lord knows I don't get to drink that anymore. And enjoy junior high and the lack of freedom and the protective wing of my parents. Enjoy high school and the non-seriousness of life, the pulse of going from school event to school event and just learning as much as I can. To enjoy college, its apparent freedoms, its failures, its pretend grown-up life that really is nothing like a real grown-up life. Life's not worth rushing.

Side note: One of my biggest pet peeves is when people talk about a certain season of life (I'm guilty of this, I'm sure) like it was the pinnacle of their entire career as a human. Like people who graduate college but keep talking about their glory days, wishing they could be back inside of the dorm, or the frat house, or at the tailgate or the function or whatever it is. People who spend all of their time telling everyone else to enjoy college because they wish they could go back to it. Before Chad and I graduated, I told him I never wanted us to pine for college. It was great. It was a season of life that I so loved and appreciated and met so many AMAZING people in. But it's over now. And I still love those people and that place and the season. But we're all on to new things.

Lately that anticipation of the future has suddenly shifted to a desire to put on the brakes. To avoid birthdays. To stop the clock. I don't want to turn 25. I don't want to think about getting closer to 30. I have had this profound sympathy for Jack Sparrow looking for the fountain of youth. I understand. If he finds it, I want to know. And I don't like this new fear any better than I liked the old rushing around eagerness. I think both grieve God's heart.

I keep thinking of that verse in 2 Corinthians 3:18: " but we all with unveiled faces beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into that same image, from glory to glory." Aren't I supposed to be going from glory to glory? And Proverbs 31, talking about the virtuous woman, and how she laughs at the days to come; her description is missing any cues about botox, age-defying creams, etc.

I love that the Lord IS. He was, of this we have TONS of evidence. He will be, of this we have equally as convincing evidence. But the fact that He IS, is what affects me most today. When I was 12 wishing I could be 17 so I could sing that song with Tim McGraw, He was sitting next to me wishing I would look at Him and learn about who He made me to be in that very season. When I was 17 wondering how my heart would heal after losing someone I'd cared about and wondering if I'd ever find a man equal to the image in my mind, He was walking with me trying to teach me about the beauty of a heart 'stayed on Jehovah'. When I turned 21 and wanted so badly to rush the next 11 months so I could finally be Mrs. Chad Freije, He was urging me to draw even closer in the last few days and weeks I had as single woman. It makes me so sad to think of all the time I spent longing for the future, and it also sheds new light on the fact that it's so terrible to sit here and dread the process of getting older. It's inevitable. It's going to happen. And I'd rather do it gracefully and with peace than irritably and with anxiety. And the secret to the future is that God will be there too. He will still be faithful. And the point is, He is right here. I don't need to look out there because He is right with me in this present moment.

I have a yoga video where the instructor says at one point, "Your power is in this present moment." Now, alot of the stuff she says is kind of bizarre. But this one phrase caught my attention. I stopped down-ward facing dogging and sat up and looked at Mandy Ingber and said, "Good word." My grace, my hope, my joy, isn't somewhere lodged in the memories of Bluebird Lane or Sky Ranch or Baylor or Tyler, Texas...and it isn't in the years when I'm past the child-raising age and I get to rediscover my passions that exist besides being a parent...its right now. God's right here, right now, and this moment is the one of to sieze and live and squeeze all of the proverbial juice out of.

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